6 killed in strikes on Yemen capital: medical source

Yemenis check the presidential office building in the rebel-held capital Sanaa on May 7, 2018 after it was hit by air strikes that reportedly killed six people and wounded 30
AFP Mohammed HUWAIS

Sanaa (AFP) – Two air raids targeted the office of the presidency in Yemen’s rebel-held capital Sanaa on Monday, leaving at least six people killed and 30 wounded, a medical source told AFP. 

The rebel-run Al-Masirah television blamed the Saudi-led coalition for the raids.

Witnesses said the office, used by the Huthi rebel administration and located in the Tahrir district of Sanaa, is normally bustling with employees.

Residents said they heard two powerful explosions hit the building, which is located near a hotel, a bank and shops, and not far from the central bank. 

“We were working next door to the presidential offices and heard a plane, and then an explosion,” Ahmed Dehashir, a first responder, told AFP at the scene of the attack.

“Some people rushed to the scene and saw the destruction and people caught under the rubble. We tried to dig out the dead and wounded from under the debris, and then there was a second strike,” he said.

“There are a lot of people trapped under the rubble,” Dehashir added.

The Huthis’ Al-Masirah television accused the Saudi-led coalition, which has been fighting the rebels since 2015 to shore up the internationally recognised government, of responsibility for the strikes.

The coalition could not immediately be reached for comment. 

The strikes came hours after Saudi Arabia’s air defences intercepted two ballistic missiles launched by the Huthis that targeted the south of the kingdom, said coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki.

He said the rockets were launched from northern Yemen toward “populated areas” of Saudi Arabia, but were intercepted overnight without any casualties or damage.

“This hostile act… proves the continued involvement of the Iranian regime in supporting the Huthi militia with qualitative capabilities,” Malki added.  

Since November of last year, the Iran-backed insurgents have intensified missile attacks into neighbouring Saudi Arabia. 

The Saudi-led coalition launched a military intervention in Yemen in 2015 with the goal of rolling back the Huthis and restoring the internationally-recognised government to power. 

The conflict has left nearly 10,000 people killed, tens of thousands wounded, and millions on the brink of famine in what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. 

.